Our Five Ring Circus: Family Fun & STEAM in Pittsburgh at MuseumLab

Friday, September 20, 2019

Family Fun & STEAM in Pittsburgh at MuseumLab


This post is brought to you by The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh and The Motherhood. All opinions are my own.

When I was a child, my dad used to take me to The Children's Museum of Pittsburgh. I LOVED visiting a museum that felt like it was built just for me! Years after I grew up, I visited my favorite museum with my first baby. I vividly remember the excitement I felt when I took him there for the first time. It was as if I was sharing a piece of my history with him. There have been four more first visits since then, but it never gets old!

My first baby is nearly 15 years old, my last baby is 6 months old, and we have a tween, an 8 year old, and a 6 year old, who has a developmental delay, in between. We have kids in every stage of development, and it's difficult to find a place to visit that they all enjoy. Thanks to a great new addition to The Children's Museum, it's now a perfect spot for my entire family!

In April of this year, The Children's Museum added MuseumLab, which is located next door. It was created to grow along with families, and is specifically geared toward kids over the age of 10 and adults, but is great for multi-age families like mine. It is a STEAM-lover's dream spot, and inspires kids to use their minds and be creative while having a LOT of fun! 

MuseumLab is a wonderful place for families who have kids of all ages to visit! It's located in the former Carnegie Free Library of Allegheny, just a very short walk away from The Children's Museum. The building is absolutely beautiful, and they managed to maintain the building's history while making it a bright, fun, innovative, and safe play and learning space for families. It has a very unique, inviting, open design, and the architecture is beautiful!

MuseumLab Pittsburgh

At MuseumLab, kids over the age of 10 (and adults) can check out a wide variety of STEAM exhibits, let out their creativity, learn some new skills, and work with makers to create so many things! While we were there, they had stations set up to to make books and 'zines, and kids were lined up to make vinyl stickers using the cricut. The activities can change day by day, so make sure you check out their calendar while planning your visit!

MuseumLab also offers hands-on group workshops for middle-school aged groups, professional development programs for educators, and will begin offering After-School Programs this Fall. Follow MuseumLab on social media to find out more details about these awesome programs, and more!

I wasn't sure what I was going to do with my younger kids while my older kids explored MuseumLab, but it turns out that I didn't need to worry about it. All of my kids had a great time exploring, our baby loved the bright colors and was captivated by the ornate ceiling, and even my husband and I had fun checking out the awesome exhibits! There truly is something for everyone. When my teenager actually asks to go back soon, I consider the place an instant success!

Here are a few of our favorite things about MuseumLab...

The fully immersive STEAM experience that even includes the decor and furnishings. The first things my kids noticed were the spinning top chairs. They absolutely loved them, and it gave the place a fun, hip vibe! My 8 year old immediately asked us how they worked!

Things to do in Pittsburgh with kids

Spinning Top Chairs

The interactive exhibits that surround you. They are even hanging on the walls! A few of our favorites were the hamster-powered art, the rubber bands illuminated by lights that changed when you spun the wheel, the spinning tops table, and the light box. 

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The coolest exhibit was Mechanical Masterpieces. The digital famous paintings changed with the simple pull of a rope or lever. My kids were mesmerized!

Mechanical Masterpieces at MuseumLab

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Museums for kids in Pittsburgh

Mechanical Masterpieces at MuseumLab

The cutting edge technology in the tech lab attracts older kids. My three older kids loved the virtual reality experience and creating an audio recording!

tech lab at MuseumLab

It inspires creativity! There is so much to do in the make lab. We could easily spend an entire afternoon in there! 

make lab at MuseumLab

make lab at MuseumLab

It's a great place for young artists! My girls and my husband loved checking out the beautiful pieces in the studio lab, sorting pieces for mosaic art, and sketching in the huge studio with high ceilings and an abundance of natural light. 

studio lab at MuseumLab

MuseumLab The Children's Museum of Pittsburgh

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art in Pittsburgh

There's something to do even if you're just sitting down. There are plenty of places to sit and rest in MuseumLab, and while you sit, there is plenty to do. Lily loved checking out the classic viewmasters on the table, and had no idea what it was before our visit! There are also plenty of activities to explore on your own or as a family.

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There's always something new to learn! People were learning how to play chess while we were there, and my kids had to give it a try using the giant chess set!

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Places to visit in Pittsburgh with kids

The building is simply beautiful, and fun to explore. And if you love to take pictures, you will love MuseumLab!

MuseumLab Pittsburgh

MuseumLab Pittsburgh

MuseumLab Pittsburgh

MuseumLab Pittsburgh

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Most of all, it is a great place for the entire family! 

My teen and tween had a wonderful time, and they asked if we could go back with just the two of them so they could spend more time in the make lab. I'm so happy that they found a place that they love! 

Pittsburgh Family Blog

Pittsburgh Blog

My 8 year old is very smart and mature for her age, and she loves STEAM, so she was able to fully enjoy the experience and participate in all the activities. 

The Children's Museum of Pittsburgh MuseumLab

My 6 year old, who has Down syndrome, loved exploring the building (so many steps to climb and windows to look through), and loved all the interactive exhibits, especially the ones that lit up. Even Oh Deer explored with him!

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Our 6 month old was perfectly content to sit in his stroller, and take in the view. All the bright colors helped! We even let him out to practice some new skills.

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Floor Chess Board

Even mom and dad had fun, and acted like kids for a while! We give high praise to any place that allows us to feel young again!

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We could easily spend the entire day at MuseumLab, but we did head back over to The Children's Museum for the last hour to check out some of our favorite exhibits, and let Liam burn off some energy. I'm glad we did, because we got to see the Eric Carle traveling exhibit before it left!

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My family agreed that MuseumLab is a wonderful addition to The Children's Museum! We didn't think it could get any better, but it did. We can't wait to go back, and we're already planning our next visit!  (Hopefully the Gymlacium will be finished when we go. The concept looks and sounds absolutely amazing!)

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Are you planning a visit? 

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Family Fun & STEAM in Pittsburgh at MuseumLab

Admission to MuseumLab includes admission to Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, so families can go to both places during their visit. Just for reference, an annual membership also includes admission to both. Admission from September 6th through September 30th is $10 per person (or $9 if purchased online). 

MuseumLab Fall/Winter Hours
(September 6th through June 15th)

Monday - Friday: Noon - 7:00 pm
Saturday & Sunday: 10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Carnegie Free Library of Allegheny - MuseumLab

1 comment:

  1. We just love museums like this and it looks like you had a great time!


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